Rangers All-Pakistan Football Tournament: Rehman, Hasnain guide Army to title

Score a goal apiece to defeat PIA 2-0 in final

Army increased the tempo after a goalless first half, and their efforts paid dividend when Rehman and Hasnain found the net in quick succession. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Pakistan Army clinched the Rangers All-Pakistan Football Tournament title as they overcame former national champions PIA 2-0 at the People’s Stadium on Tuesday.

While the first-half was evenly matched, Army picked up the pace in the second and got their reward through Abdul Rehman in the 75th minute, with Zul Hasnain sealing the win three minutes later.

Army manager Shafqat Mehmood was delighted with his team’s performance.  “It was a good match and this was an excellent tournament,” Mehmood told The Express Tribune. “The tournament and the final were made all the more memorable due to the involvement of the crowd. We received amazing support.”

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Mohammad Adam, a ball-boy, said that the event provided the residents of Lyari good entertainment. “I was a ball-boy in almost all the matches,” said Adam. “Army have been superior in terms of the quality of their gameplay. In Lyari, we support the team that plays well.”

On the other hand, PIA manager Zafar Iqbal expressed disappointment at losing the final. “We should’ve won this match. Two quick goals should’ve been contained but Army have younger players and my team missed good chances,” said Iqbal.

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Tournament director Major Hisam Qazi was pleased with the large numbers of spectators during the event and revealed this was the biggest event they have held so far.

PIA’s Shakir Lashari was named the player of tournament.

Meanwhile, District West claimed third position in the event as they defeated SSGC 5-4 in the third-place match.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd,  2016.

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